The exposure of Taiwanese banks to debt shouldered by Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain (PIIGS) totaled NT$23.38 billion (US$791.2 million) as of the end of last month, down by NT$8.1 billion, or 25.73 percent, from NT$31.48 billion at the end of last year, the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) said yesterday.
The commission said the banks’ exposure to the PIIGS has decreased steadily, accounting for 0.066 percent of total assets as of April 30, as local lenders have gradually lowered their lending and investments in the region.
However, Taiwanese insurance companies had a total of NT$75.72 billion in exposure to these countries as of the end of last month, increasing by NT$13.9 billion, or 22.5 percent, from NT$61.82 billion over the same period, the commission’s latest statistics showed.
The commission said that amount accounted for 1.89 percent of the NT$4 trillion that could be invested overseas by overall local insurance companies.
Overall, Taiwanese financial institutions had a total of NT$99.1 billion in exposure to the PIIGS as of the end of last month, up 6.23 percent from NT$93.2 billion at the end of last year, it added.
In terms of government bonds issued by the PIIGS, Taiwanese banks owned NT$552 million in total exposure as of the end of last month, slightly lower than NT$557 million at the end of last year, while insurance companies cut their holdings by NT$400 million to NT$13.6 billion over the period, according to the commission.
The commission’s statistics were revealed after the nation’s export orders fell 3.52 percent year-on-year to US$36.09 billion last month as the global economy has been impacted by the escalating eurozone debt problems. Orders from Europe dropped 0.78 percent to US$6.49 billion last month, the Ministry of Economic Affairs reported on Monday.